Kissing comes with risks. You might fall in love, catch a cold, or be grossed out by bad breath. But did you know that kissing someone with poor oral hygiene could increase your risk for cavities? At our dental offices in Cherry Hill, Gibbsboro, Haddon Heights, Linwood, and Washington Township, we want to explain how this frightening, yet very true, cavity swap can happen.
What Causes a Cavity?
Cavities are caused by the bacteria that naturally form around your teeth and on your gums. Regular cleanings and good oral hygiene keeps that bacteria in check. But when it’s allowed to build up, the bacteria keep multiplying. When this happens, they create acid that eats away at enamel and leads to cavities. And just like any other virus or bacteria, the ones in your mouth don’t stay put. They can be transferred from one mouth to another. Yep. They are contagious.
It’s Not Just Kissing
Kissing isn’t the only way the bacteria that cause cavities can be transferred from one person to another. People with poor oral hygiene put others at risk doing other activities including:
- Sharing utensils or straws
- Using someone else’s toothbrush (gross!)
- Splitting food
We have heard of people who never had cavities in their lives, suddenly have several after beginning to date someone with gum disease or poor oral hygiene!
Lower Your Risk of Infecting Someone Else
While you can’t necessarily control your partner’s oral health, you can definitely control your own.
- Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice a day
- Floss at least once every single day
- Don’t use tobacco
- Scrub your tongue
- Maintain regular visits with your dentist
Follow these tips and you’re sure to please your partner not only because your kisses will be fresh, but also because you’re not infecting them with cavity-causing bacteria. Now that’s love!
If you keep up with your own oral hygiene, be careful about who you are “swapping spit” with. If you have become a little lax in your habits, show consideration for anyone you might want to share the love with by scheduling a professional cleaning at our dental offices.